Keep That Old Fax Machine
Physical fax machines are still a thing, they still sell a lot at the office stores. One reason is that they do provide a unique service. Anything manually faxed from one fax machine to another machine is secure. It’s not hack-able in the way e-mail is. It’s sent over a phone line and there is no record of the file on any computer, web server, phone, or PC. It’s not left on a server or e-mail account available for any future hacker.
However, there’s another reason to keep your machine around. Today, we buy a combo fax/scanner and copier. Most people don’t use the fax machine but it’s still there.
In our office, we still use the fax machine. We change the settings to ‘never answer’. We connect it to one of our secondary phone lines so that it never interferes with the phone system. With this setup, we can send fax anytime but it doesn’t tie up a phone line.
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It may be an odd bit of advice from us as we are a provider of online fax services. But, there is another good reason for this setup. In the digital fax industry, incoming faxes are free. There’s no additional cost to receive faxes. However, sending outgoing documents has a cost, similar to a long-distance surcharge. Therefore, if you need to send out a lot of faxes it may be cheaper to use the machine, connected to your phone carrier, where there are typically no long-distance charges or over-limit costs from the fax provider.
Another efficiency of the old machines is sending a small document, like an insurance card or personal ID is quicker to fax than to scan, save, and e-mail. Most medical offices still use faxes and are happy to receive docs this way. In addition, if your internet connection goes down you may still be able to use your phone lines to send and receive documents.
Of course, there are many advantages to the fax to e-mail services that are widely used today. Receiving faxes electronically usually results in a cleaner document. All faxes are low-resolution images, but sending them electronically usually results in a cleaner document. Also, since they arrive as a PDF document they can be easily renamed and saved on your local computer. The next time it needs to be sent along, it can easily be e-mailed.
Finally, here’s a little advice on choosing the best online fax service for your business. Know your monthly volumes. If you are a high volume user, choose a company that won’t charge you excessive additional fees for exceeding your plan quota. There should never be a signup charge. Be sure that your number is ‘portable’. If you ever want to move to a different provider be sure they allow you to take your number with you. Some of the major providers will not allow you to move your number away. It’s a very common complaint in the industry.
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FAXtopia is a discount provider of online fax services based near a lovely beach in South Florida. We offer a flat fee plan on reliable and secure servers utilizing the Amazon cloud. We service numerous industries including HIPAA compliant medical offices, real estate, accounting, and small businesses across North America and the Caribbean Islands.
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